Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Mary Pat Christie Stays On-Message on N.H. Stump

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Mary Pat Christie Stays On-Message on N.H. Stump

Article excerpt

NASHUA, N.H. -- On Friday, Governor Christie once again told the story about the time last year when his wife, Mary Pat, was mistaken for a young aide to his presidential campaign when she fetched a cup of coffee one morning in New Hampshire. Hours later, he handed her his campaign schedule and the responsibility of being a fill-in candidate.

A weekend blizzard has thrust the role of selling voters on a Christie presidency on Mary Pat, while her husband tends to his day job as governor, dealing with a state whipsawed by snow and flooding.

On Saturday, pinch-hitting on the trail meant Mary Pat Christie would have to shift from being the soft-spoken but supportive wife at Christie's side to being the chief booster of a campaign fighting to break away from a crowd of other mainstream candidates at a critical time. As many as two-thirds of New Hampshire's voters, according to Christie, are beginning to make up their mind on a candidate. Mary Pat Christie, who until last year worked on Wall Street and never ran for elected office, said she was happy for the challenge.

"I'm certainly comfortable and, quite frankly, kind of honored to be able to do this for him while he's back at home," she said. "I'm in my natural element, because I like people. So just saying hello and asking them to consider voting for my husband is somewhat natural."

Mary Pat Christie is also seasoned to a degree by nature of being married to one of the country's most well-known politicians. She has spent 46 days in New Hampshire and attended 130 events, she said, and has lived in the public's eye for the last 13 years, since Governor Christie became U.S. attorney for New Jersey.

She exhibited that comfort Saturday. With a moose-print scarf around her neck, a gift from a voter in Derry, N.H., Mary Pat Christie seemed at ease leaning in to diners at the Chez Vachon restaurant in Manchester and introducing herself -- something her husband doesn't have to do. …

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